SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Borough agencies, local businesses, community organizations and residents of all ages came together the evening of Aug. 1 for South Plainfield’s 4th Annual National Night Out (NNO).
“Once again, South Plainfield’s National Night Out was a collaborative effort that brought the entire community together,” said South Plainfield Mayor Matt Anesh.
Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watches and held annually on the first Tuesday in August, NNO is intended to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
This year’s NNO took place in the parking lot behind the South Plainfield Public Library and was a collaborative effort between the library, the South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission, and the South Plainfield Municipal Alliance along with the South Plainfield PBA #100, numerous corporate and local businesses, and area civic organizations.
The three-hour event featured activities, food, entertainment, and giveaways for adults and children. Outside, South Plainfield Police Chief James Parker and Borough Administrator/CFO Glenn Cullen manned the grill from 6 to 9 p.m., flipping burgers and hot dogs that were served up by borough leaders, including Council President Derryck White and Councilwoman Christine Faustini.
DJ Matt Victoria played music throughout the night as attendees strolled around and checked out the classic cars presented by members of the North Plainfield-based Car Nutz Car Club. Local organizations and businesses were on hand, offering information and freebies, free glitter tattoos, a woodworking craft provided by The Home Depot, and more. Children had the chance to check out ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks and many took to Willow Park to jump in the bouncy houses and try out the newly installed swings.
Throughout the night, Eddie Lin of ‘Au’-Some Balloons created balloon hats and animals; Mr. Ray performed in the library’s multipurpose room; there was face painting from Moogieland; and the library’s Mija Clemente manned a ‘Kindness Rocks’ table that saw a steady stream of children and adults. Attendees were able to paint the rocks, which were donated by Susan Krystopik of KLK Construction Materials & Trucking Co., and take them home to share, safely, with friends and neighbors as part of a ‘random acts of kindness’ initiative.
“The children enjoyed the entertainment, the balloon art and face painting and our kindness rocks initiative was a huge hit,” said Library Director Linda Hansen, adding, “This year's National Night Out attracted one of the biggest crowds yet and I'm so happy the library was a part of it all. It was a lovely night for families to come out and great to see so meant people participate.”
The mayor agreed. “I wish to thank the committee, all the vendors and participants, and the residents who attended. Events like this are what make our borough a great community to live and work,” said Anesh.
About National Night Out
The first National Night Out took place in 1984 and featured a traditional ‘lights on’ campaign along with symbolic front porch vigils.
Over time, the campaign grew into a celebration across America with various events and activities including, but not limited to, block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies and marches, exhibits, youth events and safety demonstrations and seminars. The idea of the program has evolved into fostering a partnership between local law enforcement and the community residents. The believe is that by working together, crime can be reduced and the quality of life that a community enjoys improved.
Today, over 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide participate in National Night Out events.
For additional information, visit http://natw.org.
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